Producing videos for York Streaming with MovieMaker

While we are seeing an increase in use of YouTube to deliver videos for learning and teaching (driven in part by the integration with our university Google accounts and the fact that it integrates well with the VLE and other platforms) there are some instances where this is not appropriate. In cases such as this the York Streaming service still offers a secure and reliable way of delivering video both to public facing websites and within VLE modules.

One hurdle you have to jump through to use this service is making sure that your videos are produced in a format that the streaming service can work with (for ref; video must be compressed with h.264 and audio with AAC, a number of file formats support this including .mp4, and .mov).

videoCustomSettingsHappily MovieMaker, the free video editor which comes bundled with Windows 7, is actually pretty effective at producing videos in this format. There are a bunch of pre-configured export options but if want more control then you can specify the dimensions and quality of your video. The actual settings you apply will depend on a number of factors such as what is actually on screen in your video, the platform your video will be published on and the expected internet connection speed of your audience and it is often a balancing act between quality and file size which will affect how well your video will stream.

To get an idea of what quality you can expect, click on the link below to see a video that has been produced at 640*360, 1000kb/s video, 96kb/s audio (see illustration, right). This video should be fine to view on standard home broad band connections but might lack a bit of quality when viewed full screen.

Click to see a video produced with the above settings.

Custom settings created in MovieMaker

Click to view video produced by Movie Maker at 640*360 pixels, 1000kb/s (video) and 96 kb/s (audio)

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